Who says reggae music has no place in the House of Commons?

The Chancellor riffed on an "aspir-ay-shan nay-shan"
  • @DonaldAMacInnes

Beer! Yaaaay! A penny less! Yaaaay! Actually, judging by the rambunctiousness of the House, with the ranks of party animals behaving like the English Barmy Army during a Test match against the West Indies in Jamaica, perhaps it wasn’t just Red Stripe that had been sampled during lunch, but something more… herbal.

On that subject, who says reggae music has no place in the House of Commons? I ask only because of George Osborne’s apparent quoting of a song by one of this country’s finest Anglo-Caribbean rasta-centric beat groups. Many of you will recall the 1982 hit “Pass The Dutchie” by Musical Youth, which began with the spoken exortation: “This gener-ay- shan, rules de nay-shan.” Perhaps it was this mood of youthful Thatcherite optimism that George was trying to peddle when he described this country as an “aspir-ay-shan nay-shan”. Or maybe he was just thrilled that he found two words that rhymed.

Back to cricket, every time Deputy Speaker Linsday Hoyle chastised the braying house, he ended up sounding like that other playful Lancastrian all-rounder, David “Bumble” Lloyd. With a nod and a wink, “Olive” Hoyle was a joy as he reminded the hecklers to act like grown-ups. In fact, my fervent prayer throughout the entire Budget speech was that this champion of Chorley would get so sick and tired of trying to quieten the House that he would rip asunder the front of his splendid morning suit to reveal a big “N” on the front of his flame-red Lycra onesie. Northern Man! The most Northern man in the world! Having formed this picture in my mind’s eye, I of course began to come up with names for his sidekick (Black Pudding Boy) and arch-enemy (Southern Softie). Anything to occupy myself during George’s coughing fit…